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Localism Bill Will Be Published Today

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The new "Localism Bill" will be published today, changing planning rules.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-11976409

http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=%22localism+bill%22&hl=en&cr=countryUK|countryGB&safe=off&rlz=1B3GGLL_en___GB407&tbs=ctr:countryUK|countryGB,qdr:d&prmd=ivn&source=lnt&sa=X&ei=tssFTcymFs6HhQfHoIjvBw&ved=0CA0QpwU

And Eric Pickles will give (edit: has given) an interview to the Today Programme, Radio 4, this morning, 8:10am.

Edit: But planning/housing issues were not mentioned. (Unless I was distracted by driving, and missed it. But I doubt it.)

- - -

I think the bill will be published on this page: http://www.communities.gov.uk/localgovernment/decentralisation/localismbill/

For now they have only this "guide" to the bill there: http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/localgovernment/pdf/1793908.pdf

- - -

Edit 2, a few more details:

Additional detail on specific Bill measures can be found at: www.communities.gov.uk/documents/newsroom/word/1795339.doc (Word, 67kb).

(...)

Reform of the Planning System

Abolition of Regional Strategies

The removal of the primary legislation which sets the basis for Regional Strategies. Ministers believe imposed Regional Strategies and the top down targets did not work effectively and that the target-driven approach to development was undemocratic and added unnecessary bureaucracy to the planning system. This approach alienated people, setting them against development – as witnessed by the number of objections to them from members of the public and the fact we now have the lowest levels of peacetime house-building since 1924. Press notice at: http://www.communities.gov.uk/news/planningandbuilding/1632278

Community Infrastructure Levy

The Community Infrastructure Levy allows local authorities to set charges which developers must pay when bringing forward new development in order to contribute to new infrastructure. The Bill introduces three changes to the Community Infrastructure Levy. Firstly, the Bill includes provisions to make regulations requiring some of these funds to be passed to neighbourhoods where the development has taken place. Secondly, it makes clear that funds can be spent on the ongoing costs of infrastructure, as well as the initial costs of new infrastructure. Lastly, it gives local authorities greater control over setting their charging levels – while independent examiners will still consider whether the charging schedule is unreasonable, it will be for the authority to decide how to make it reasonable. Press notice at: http://www.communities.gov.uk/news/communities/1772640

Local Plan Reform

Minister wish to give local authorities and communities greater choice and control by removing the ability of the Planning Inspectorate to re-write local plans - and by removing procedures on timetabling and monitoring, which many authorities have found bureaucratic. Planning inspectors will continue to assess local plans at a public examination, and authorities will only be able to adopt plans judged ‘sound’ by the inspector, but inspectors will only be able to suggest changes at the request of the local authority. Local authorities will be able to suggest changes during the examination and withdraw development plan documents before their adoption, without seeking clearance from central Government. Local authorities will also have to publish up to date information direct to the public on what planning documents they are preparing, while central government powers to direct changes will be more limited.

Neighbourhood Planning

The Bill will introduce a new right for communities to shape their local areas. Neighbourhood plans will enable communities to permit development – in full or in outline – without the need for planning applications. The current planning system is too centralised and bureaucratic. This complexity makes it inaccessible to communities. Top-down enforcement of housing targets has alienated communities and stoked up local opposition to development. This will lift the burden of centralised controls and give neighbourhoods and local areas the flexibility to innovate, be creative, access new resources and control their own futures. Reforms will streamline decision-making and remove barriers to development. Press notice at: http://www.communities.gov.uk/news/newsroom/1788714

Community Right to Build

This measure will give local communities the power to take forward development in their area without the need to apply for planning permission, subject to meeting certain safeguards and securing 50 per cent support of the community through a referendum. It will be for communities to identify suitable land, sources of finance and secure support for their proposals, but we will put in place arrangements to provide help and guidance. This right aims to tackle the lack of development coming forward in rural areas where local planning authorities are resistant to development and consequently restrict expansion despite communities themselves expressing a wish to see new housing and other facilities built. Communities will be able to safeguard the future of rural villages for future generations by providing the framework to develop without being told that it does not fit with their local council’s plans and should not go ahead. Press notice at: http://www.communities.gov.uk/news/newsroom/1722128

Duty to cooperate

We are introducing a duty to cooperate to ensure that local authorities and public bodies cooperate with each other. The duty will be a key element of our proposals for strategic working once Regional Strategies are abolished. Working alongside the incentives that we are implementing, such as the New Home Bonus and Business Rates, it will act as a strong driver to change the behaviour of local authorities.

Pre-application consultation

To strengthen the role of local communities in planning, the Bill will introduce a new requirement for prospective developers to consult local communities before submitting planning applications for very large developments. This is intended to give local people a real chance to comment on proposed developments which may have an impact on them, and to collaborate on issues such as design at an early stage, when they still have a real change to influence proposals before they are finalised.

Developers will be required to have regard to any opinions raised during this consultation when deciding whether to make any changes before submitting their planning applications.

Enforcement

In order to engage in the planning system individuals and communities need to know that – where people try to flout the system – local planning authorities have the ability to take action. These proposals will tackle abuses like making deliberately misleading planning applications and running retrospective planning applications and enforcement appeals simultaneously.

Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (abolition of the Infrastructure Planning Commission)

This measure will replace the Infrastructure Planning Commission with an efficient and democratically accountable system that provides a fast-track process for major infrastructure projects and ensures Parliamentary approval of National Policy Statements (National Policy Statements) before they can be designated. The current system for consenting applications for major infrastructure projects is unaccountable. Decisions on applications for major infrastructure projects should be taken by Ministers, who are democratically accountable, rather than by an unelected quango. The Government also wants to ensure that National Policy Statements are as robust as possible, and minimise the risk of successful judicial review. The Government will ensure that National Policy Statements are approved by Parliament to ensure the strongest possible democratic legitimacy. Press notice at: http://www.communities.gov.uk/newsstories/planningandbuilding/1626163

Social Housing Reform

Social Housing Allocations reform

We will give back to local authorities the freedom to determine who should qualify to go on their housing waiting list. The rules on eligibility will continue to be set centrally. We will also make it easier for existing social tenants to move within the social sector, by removing transferring tenants who are not in housing need from the scope of the allocation rules – they will no longer have to compete with those on the waiting list in housing need. Under the current system local authorities must include on their waiting lists for social housing anyone who applies, with the exception of some foreign nationals and people guilty of serious unacceptable behaviour. As social housing is in great demand and priority is given to those most in need, many applicants have no realistic prospect of ever receiving a social home. The current arrangements encourage false expectations and long waiting lists (currently almost 1.8 million households). This measure will allow local authorities to set waiting list policies that are appropriate to their local area. By taking transferring tenants who are not in housing need out of the allocations rules, we will make it easier for them to move and easier for landlords to manage their stock sensibly. Press notice at: http://www.communities.gov.uk/news/newsroom/1775594

Reform of Homelessness legislation

People who experience a homelessness crisis need somewhere suitable to live, but do not necessarily need social housing. But under the current legislation they can insist on being provided with expensive temporary accommodation, at taxpayer’s expense, until social housing becomes available. Around 70% of homelessness duties are ended with an offer of social housing - which results in around 20% of social lets being allocated to people owed the homelessness duty, at the expense of other people in need on the housing waiting list.

The Bill will give local authorities the flexibility to bring the homelessness duty to an end with an offer of suitable accommodation in the private rented sector without requiring the household’s agreement. There will be safeguards: as now, an offer of private sector housing will only bring the duty to an end if the accommodation is suitable for the whole household. The private sector tenancy would need to be for a minimum fixed term of 12 months, and the duty would recur if, within 2 years, the applicant becomes homeless again through no fault of his or her own (and continues to be eligible for assistance).

Social Housing Tenure reform

Currently, social landlords are normally only able to grant lifetime tenancies. The provisions in the Bill will enable local authority landlords to grant tenancies for a fixed length (the minimum length being two years). These ‘flexible’ tenancies will give more freedom to local authority landlords, allowing them to manage their stock more effectively and ensure that the occupation of social housing better reflects actual need. Landlords will retain the power to grant lifetimes tenancies. Currently, the decision to allocate someone a social tenancy is taken on the basis of the situation of that person at a particular point in their life. As the tenancy is given for life, a landlord will not be able to review the person’s occupation of the property even if subsequent changes, e.g. an increase in income, mean that the person’s need turned out to be only short-term. This makes the current highly-centralised system unfair and ineffective. Press notice at: http://www.communities.gov.uk/news/newsroom/1775594

Reform of Council Housing Finance

This reform will replace the current annual centralised system for subsidising council housing and replace it with a locally run system. Under the new system, councils will keep their rental income and use it locally to maintain their homes. To achieve this, the Bill will enable a one-off payment between Government and each council. This will put all Local Authorities in a position where they can support their stock and housing debt from their own income in future. Reform of the Housing Revenue Account is a key plank of localism. It gives councils full control over a key area of spending and service provision. It will enable better long term asset management and more transparency and accountability of landlords to tenants. It will address the structural under-funding in the current system.

National Homeswap Scheme

This measure will take a power to set, via the social housing regulator a standard on mutual exchange - a swap of accommodation between two or more tenants where each party moves permanently into their exchange partner's property. This would require landlords to participate in web-based mutual exchange services that enable tenants to see a wide range of properties across providers in England. Less than 5% of households move within the social housing sector each year compared to almost a quarter of private renters. Tenants who are overcrowded, who need to move to get a job or to be nearer to family for caring have to compete with households on the waiting list, one option for them is to seek a mutual exchange. In order to create more mobility within the social stock and give greater choice to tenants over where they live we propose that a national scheme should enable tenants to see a wide range of properties across providers. Press notice at: http://www.communities.gov.uk/news/newsroom/1664130

Reform of Social Housing Regulation

This measure will: make reforms to the regulatory system for social housing; abolish the Tenant Services Authority and transfer its remaining functions to the Homes and Communities Agency; and make changes to the Ombudsman regime applicable to social housing complaints. This will be enacted by making amendments to the Housing and Regeneration Act 2008, the Housing Act 1996 and the Local Government Act 1974. Abolishing the T Tenant Services Authority will put local people in control of driving up standards of social housing management and resolving most failings. The regulator will be focused on the economic regulation of landlords and resolving serious failings that can’t be resolved between landlord and tenant at the local level. Under the plans England’s 8 million social housing tenants will receive stronger tools to hold landlords to account and there will be a greater role for locally elected representatives in resolving problems in their area. State intervention will be reduced. Housing associations will continue to be subject to robust economic regulation with a stronger focus on value for money, thereby maintaining lender confidence, protecting taxpayers and supporting the supply of social housing. The system of two separate ombudsmen handling social tenants’ complaints will end. A single Ombudsman specialising in complaints about social housing will ensure consistency, and provide a common route of redress for all social housing tenants.

Facilitating moves out of the social rented sector

The Government is keen to see that support is given to help realise social tenants’ ownership aspirations, which in turn can help to enable better housing outcomes for those in need through more effective use of social rented stock. The Bill will ensure that housing association tenants who are also members (e.g. share holders) of their landlord organisation are allowed to take up incentive schemes which facilitate moves out of the social rented sector into owner occupation. Current legislation does not allow this because it precludes the making of any gifts (including such an incentive payment) to tenant members or former members.

Home Information Packs

Home Information Packs were suspended on 21 May and all requirements relating to Home Information Packs have ceased to apply to responsible persons – either a seller or their estate agents and sellers, this measure will repeal Part 5 of the Housing Act 2004 thereby abolishing Home Information Packs. Energy performance certificates will still be required under separate legislation. On average, consumers have saved £78 from obtaining individual pieces of information during the process of buying and selling a home than paying for a Home Information Pack. This will result in an overall saving of some £870m over a ten year period. The abolition of Home Information Packs will formalise the position on this. Press notice at: http://www.communities.gov.uk/multimedia/newsroom/1638683

.

Edited by Tired of Waiting

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I heard the interview with Pickles in the car, driving, and I think the BBC didn't ask any question about planning or housing issues. I even started to doubt that today's publication would include this issue. I've just Googled it again, double checking it, and it DOES include the changes on planning rules/system and a power shift to local "communities". It appears that for the BBC hosing is not an issue important enough to be mentioned. :angry:

The government is giving communities the right to take over local services and vote on housing developments in its Decentralisation and Localism Bill for England and Wales, due to be published today.

It gives residents the right to question how services are run and potentially take them over. These could include children's centres, social care and transport. The bill gives communities more say over planning and deciding where new housing developments can be built. It also includes the abolition of Home Improvement Packs and will give residents the power to veto 'excessive' council tax increases.

http://www.channel4.com/news/warning-73-000-jobs-could-go-as-big-society-plan-pushed-on

The bill is expected to put planning powers in the hands of local communities, through neighbourhood plans, and building incentives such as the New Homes Bonus, which will see the government match council tax on new homes for the first six years.

Kate Henderson, chief executive of the Town and Country Planning Association, called it ‘the most far-reaching proposals to change the planning system since the 1947 Planning Act’.

http://www.insidehousing.co.uk/news/finance/funding-cuts-may-undermine-localism-bill/6512927.article

Edited by Tired of Waiting

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Just my opinion but i think they should build less homes and more hi-rise flats , this would also have the benefit of being more affordable with lower payments etc.

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Just my opinion but i think they should build less homes and more hi-rise flats , this would also have the benefit of being more affordable with lower payments etc.

Really?! Why?!

Are you thinking central London?

.

Edited by Tired of Waiting

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Really?! Why?!

Are you thinking central London?

.

No , in every city

If they had built more flats (like Japan) instead of building so many houses then there wouldn't have been such an incentive for factories and farmers to sell their land to developers and thus turn productive land into unproductive land.

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Just my opinion but i think they should build less homes and more hi-rise flats
We've been there before, in the 60's and 70's. High-rise flats for the masses have turned out to be a disaster in most cases. What were touted as 'vertical streets' turned out to be more like human storage units for surplus population.

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No , in every city

If they had built more flats (like Japan) instead of building so many houses then there wouldn't have been such an incentive for factories and farmers to sell their land to developers and thus turn productive land into unproductive land.

We did some calculations a few weeks ago, in a thread in this forum. 1 million decent family homes would need just around 0.1% of UK surface, or 0.2% of England's. Even if they were all built less than 60 miles form central London they would take only around 1% of this area. Human housing takes up surprisingly little space, in relation to the size of this/any country.

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We've been there before, in the 60's and 70's. High-rise flats for the masses have turned out to be a disaster in most cases. What were touted as 'vertical streets' turned out to be more like human storage units for surplus population.

I think the main reason for the failure was the people that were put in the high rises, not the concept of high rise living itself

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I think the main reason for the failure was the people that were put in the high rises, not the concept of high rise living itself

Partially, perhaps. But I think issues of ownership and maintenance were probably more important. I have seen high-rise buildings in developing countries, small flats, cheap, for working class people, but owner occupied + share of the freehold, that were very well maintained, nice clean friendly places, with proud owners.

.

Edited by Tired of Waiting

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We did some calculations a few weeks ago, in a thread in this forum. 1 million decent family homes would need just around 0.1% of UK surface, or 0.2% of England's. Even if they were all built less than 60 miles form central London they would take only around 1% of this area. Human housing takes up surprisingly little space, in relation to the size of this/any country.

Do these %s relate only to the area occupied by the houses?

Surely the accompanying roads, schools, hospitals, shops, car parks, play grounds, doctors surgeries etc. take up space 50-100% of the size of the houses.

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I think the main reason for the failure was the people that were put in the high rises, not the concept of high rise living itself

+ the quality of the building is crucial.

I've lived in flats where the neighbours could hold an orgy and you wouldn't hear a thing.

Equally I've lived in flats where you could clearly hear the neighbours TV set (at normal volumes).

Of course, "social housing" tends to be of the second kind.

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Do these %s relate only to the area occupied by the houses?

Surely the accompanying roads, schools, hospitals, shops, car parks, play grounds, doctors surgeries etc. take up space 50-100% of the size of the houses.

I did estimate double the plots area, for roads/streets.

But all the rest you mentioned were not necessary, as I was not suggesting new towns, or bigger populations, just an increase in housing around existing communities, that already have all these facilities.

There is a shortage of housing mainly in the south, mainly for the new generations, living in crowded conditions, with couples and even families living in flats. I was just calculating how much land would terraces houses take.

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Do these %s relate only to the area occupied by the houses?

Surely the accompanying roads, schools, hospitals, shops, car parks, play grounds, doctors surgeries etc. take up space 50-100% of the size of the houses.

This was plots (so including gardens) and allowing for double the size to allow for infrastructure.

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Has anybody found the full text of the bill yet?

Will Pickles (or some minister) "read" it to Parliament first? This afternoon? Now perhaps? (Do you have BBC Parliament there now? I don't.)

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Will Pickles (or some minister) "read" it to Parliament first? This afternoon? Now perhaps? (Do you have BBC Parliament there now? I don't.)

Yes, you're probably right, and no, I'm afraid I don't.

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Has anybody found the full text of the bill yet?

I think the bill will be published on this page: http://www.communities.gov.uk/localgovernment/decentralisation/localismbill/

For now they have only this "guide" to the bill there: http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/localgovernment/pdf/1793908.pdf

On page 5:

‘Nimbys will take over and stop all new development’ – This argument assumes that our highly centralised planning system is delivering the development we need. In fact, new homes are being built at the slowest rate since the war and investment in new infrastructure is falling behind. The only way forward is to embrace decentralised development that is not merely accepted, but actually led by local communities – because local people get to share in the benefits.

Weak.

If local authorities were allowed to auction planning permits then perhaps they would "share in the benefits", and would probably move their fat @rses.

Edited by Tired of Waiting

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We've been there before, in the 60's and 70's. High-rise flats for the masses have turned out to be a disaster in most cases. What were touted as 'vertical streets' turned out to be more like human storage units for surplus population.

Because they were unmanaged and became dumping grounds for the bored and unemployed. Properly managed some have become quite desirable places to live.

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No , in every city

If they had built more flats (like Japan) instead of building so many houses then there wouldn't have been such an incentive for factories and farmers to sell their land to developers and thus turn productive land into unproductive land.

manchester is so full of half finished flats. They're like rabbit hutches in the sky.

Stupid and pointless.

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manchester is so full of half finished flats. They're like rabbit hutches in the sky.

Stupid and pointless.

Yet to get one you still have to pay more than peanuts, but the demand for them is obviously low. Until that's not the case I find it hard to believe that the traditional supply-and-demand equation has all that much to do with explaining house prices.

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The Bill will give local authorities the flexibility to bring the homelessness duty to an end with an offer of suitable accommodation in the private rented sector without requiring the household’s agreement

Coming to a nice neighbour hood near YOU......

So they did build all those executive apartments for social housing.....

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Coming to a nice neighbour hood near YOU......

The Bill will give local authorities the flexibility to bring the homelessness duty to an end with an offer of suitable accommodation in the private rented sector without requiring the household’s agreement

So they did build all those executive apartments for social housing.....

So another attempt to prop up the BTL market then

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  • 284 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
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      • up 5%



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